My mouth is watering even as I type this. These cupcakes are seriously delicious. I took them to a friend's for dessert. It's possible that she told her four-year-old daughter not to wipe the frosting off the table because we "could use it." Then, she wiped it up and licked it off her own fingers.
Seriously delicious, I tell you.
Originally published in Cook's Illustrated (May 2010)
Makes 12 cupcakes
2 oz bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine
1/4 C heavy cream
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
Place chocolate, cream, and powdered sugar in medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave on high power until mixture is warm to touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth; transfer bowl to refrigerator and let stand until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.
3 oz bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine
1/3 C Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 C hot coffee
3/4 C bread flour
3/4 C granulated sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-size muffin pan with baking-cup liners.
Place chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl. Pour hot coffee over mixture and whisk until smooth. Set in refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes.
Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled chocolate-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon ganache filling on top of each cupcake.
Bake until cupcakes are set and just firm to touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before frosting, about 1 hour.
Makes 2 1/4 C (just enough to pipe 12 cupcakes)
Notes: The frosting can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. When ready to frost, place frosting in a microwave-safe container and warm briefly on high power until just slightly softened, 5 to 10 seconds. Once warmed, stir until creamy.
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
1/8 tsp table salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 C creamy peanut butter
Combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in bowl of stand mixer; place bowl over pan of simmering water. Whisking gently but constantly, heat mixture until slightly thickened, foamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Place bowl in stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat mixture on medium speed until consistency of shaving cream and slightly cooled, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. (Frosting may look curdled after half of butter has been added; it will smooth with additional butter.) Once all butter is added, add vanilla and peanut butter; mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds, scraping beater and sides of bowl with rubber spatula as necessary.
It's a good thing this recipe only makes 12 cupcakes because these are not something that can just "be" in the same room as me. They demand to be eaten.
I also think would be fun to garnish the cupcakes with Reese's pieces. I didn't have any on hand.